According to new projections from the Office of National Statistics, the UK population will exceed 70 million by the end of the next decade. This equates to 4.4 million people added to our existing population by 2029, or the equivalent of increasing London’s population by 50 per cent. Added to this, the population of the UK is ageing - 18 per cent of the UK’s population is 65; 2.4 per cent is aged 85 and over. In other words, for the first time in history, Britain’s over-65s now outnumber people under the age of 16.
On a global scale, by 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years and over is expected to total 2 billion, up from 841 million in 2014, according to WHO. A large increase in the number of births, plus a shifting dynamic in population, inevitably means a rise in the consumption of public services of all kinds; whether that’s public transport, policing, social care or, most importantly, health care.
According to figures from the King’s Fund, 15 million UK citizens suffer from a long-term chronic condition - that’s just over 25% of the overall population. This statistic doubles in over 50’s and the probability of co-morbidity increases significantly within this group. A recent report in ‘The Lancet’ warned that, unless health systems find effective strategies to meet the needs of an ageing world population, the growing burden of chronic disease will greatly affect the quality of life of older people. The current cost of managing long-term, chronic diseases within the UK represents approximately 70% of all health care expenditure; a number that is unsustainable in a climate of increasing costs and reducing budgets.
In order to manage the associated costs, the UK National Health Service (NHS) is actively increasing access to education and resources so that patients, themselves, are better equipped to manage their conditions effectively. The NHS’ five year forward plan incorporates strategies to help redress this expenditure and improve patient outcomes through a series of policies, including improvements in self-management and remote monitoring of patients - to pick up earlier signs of acute symptoms of their chronic conditions. This could allow earlier intervention from a host of support and services, including from family, careers and community health care.
This is an area of health care in which Bodytrak will provide value to both patients and the healthcare ecosystem, with the functionality and flexibility to provide each party the detailed information they need to make informed decisions. Bodytrak offers real-time vital sign monitoring in conjunction with automated alerts linked to key wellness markers. The approach supports many aspects of the NHS’ 5 year forward plan, connecting those most vulnerable in society with the latest technology to support both self-care but also remote monitoring for health care professionals.